What is the National Association of Manufacturers ‘Skills Certification’

20 May

Moi wrote in The International Baccalaureate program and vocational students:

There is an “arms race” going on in American Education. More people are asking whether college is the right choice for many. The U.S. has de-emphasized high quality vocational and technical training in the rush to increase the number of students who proceed to college in pursuit of a B.A. Often a graduate degree  follows. The Harvard paper, Pathways to Prosperity argues for more high quality vocational and technical opportunities:

The implication of this work is that a focus on college readiness alone does not equip young people with all of

the skills and abilities they will need in the workplace, or to successfully complete the transition from adolescence

to adulthood. This was highlighted in a 2008 report published by Child Trends, which compared research on the competencies required for college readiness, workplace readiness and healthy youth development. The report found significant overlaps. High personal expectations, self-management, critical thinking, and academic achievement are viewed as highly important for success in all three areas. But the report also uncovered some striking differences. For instance: while career planning, previous work experience, decision making, listening skills, integrity, and creativity are all considered vital in the workplace, they hardly figure in college readiness.


There is a reluctance to promote vocational opportunities in the U.S. because the is a fear of tracking individuals into vocational training and denying certain groups access to a college education. The comprise could be a combination of both quality technical training with a solid academic foundation. Individuals may have a series of careers over the course of a career and a solid foundation which provides a degree of flexibility is desired for survival in the future. See, Why go to college?https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2011/11/28/why-go-to-college/


Now, there is a new program in community colleges. According to the NAM site, NAM-Endorsed Manufacturing Skills Certification System:

Close the Skills Gap! Take Action Now!

  • 82% of manufacturers report a moderate or serious shortage in skilled production workers.

  • 75% of manufacturers say the skill shortage has negatively impacted their ability to expand.

  • 600,000 jobs in manufacturing are unfilled today because employers can’t find workers with the right skills.

To help close the growing skills gap, the Manufacturing Institute has launched the NAM-Endorsed Manufacturing Skills Certification System.  This system of nationally portable, industry-recognized credentials validates both the “book smarts” and the “street smarts” needed to be productive and successful on the job.  For more information, see the following sections:

Manufacturers can no longer afford to wait.  Each manufacturer must take action NOW to help grow the next generation of manufacturing talent.  Learn more about the NAM-Endorsed Skills Certification System and how it can make a difference in your workplace! http://www.themanufacturinginstitute.org/Skills-Certification/Skills-Certification.aspx

The Adult College Completion Network describes the program in Manufacturing Skills Certification System

This effort allows 12 states to align their educational and career pathways with a nationally-recognized skills certification system.


The project is supporting 12 states to join five current states (North Carolina, Ohio, Texas, Washington, Indiana) that are leading efforts to align their educational and career pathways with the National Association of Manufacturers-endorsed Manufacturing Skills Certification System. The states in the project were scheduled to begin implementation over a four-year period; however, during year one there was such demand from manufacturers for action that the Institute initiated efforts in all the states. The states are: Florida, Connecticut, Wisconsin, Iowa, New York, Mississippi, Alabama, Arkansas, Nevada, Illinois, Tennessee, and Kansas. The project is scaling up the model to align stackable industry-recognized skills certifications in advanced manufacturing with educational degree pathways that span from high school to community colleges to four-year institution programs of study.

Expected Outcomes: 

  • Increase in the number of students who earn a postsecondary credential with value in the workplace.

  • Creation/validation industry-aligned postsecondary pathways with advanced manufacturing career pathways, using real-time data on each state’s economy map.

  • Mapping the Advanced Manufacturing educational pathways in the states.

  • Integration of industry credentials into early adopter postsecondary institutions’ programs of study.

  • Modularization of the college curriculum to shorten time to credentials and provide more on/off-ramps in postsecondary education.

  • Strengthening of employer engagement with education.

  • Creation of a community of learners among states to share best-in-class tools to facilitate implementation.


Brent Weil

Senior Vice President



1331 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Suite 600

Washington, DC 20004

United States


There shouldn’t be a one size fits all in education and parents should be honest about what education options will work for a particular child. Even children from the same family may find that different education options will work for each child.


Vocational Education Myths and Realities


Vocational Education in the United States, The Early 1990s



The IB Career-related Certificate (IBCC)                                       https://drwilda.com/2012/06/28/the-ib-career-related-certificate-ibcc/

Borrowing from work: Schools teach career mapping                 https://drwilda.com/2012/03/24/borrowing-from-work-schools-teach-career-mapping/

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